tv [untitled] December 8, 2014 1:30pm-2:01pm PST
>> good afternoon and welcome to the san francisco board of supervisors' land use and economic development committee. i'm scott wiener the chairman of the committee and to my left is supervisor malia cohen and committee vice-chair jane kim will be joining us shortly. our clerk is andrea ausberry and i want to thank sfgtv for broadcasting today's meeting. madame clerk, are there any announcements. >> please silence all electronic devices and completed speaker cards and documents to be included in the file to be submitted to the
clerk. items will appear on the december 16, 2014 board of supervisors' agenda unless otherwise stated. >> thank you very much. madame clerk, item no. 1. >> a resolution granting permission to occupy a portion of a public right-of-way at 157-24th avenue. >> the department of public works is here for item 1. >> good afternoon chair wiener and supervisor cohen, nickelsen with the department of public works. this is a request to basically construct portion of a garage in the public right-of-way. this is a very unusual portion of the public right-of-way. it's on 24th avenue between lake and west clay streets. there are two other properties, which have a very similar situation, where there garages enroach. the actual public sidewalk is located about 8' above the roadway. so the sidewalk --
oops -- extends above the proposed garage. it's over the proposed garage. we've received the request. this was ruled in conformity with the general plan with the planning department, public works had a hearing on this back in july. and there were no objections raised. so we recommend -- there will be an annual assessment fee charged, and we recommend approval of this encroachment. >> thank you, mr. elsner. if there are no questions, we'll open item no. 1 up for public comment. i have one public comment card. brent mcdonald, come on up. >> good afternoon, committee. my name is brent mcdonald, the architect for miss kristina baker. i am here to answer any questions, but i think nick explained everything. >> thank you very much. is there any additional public
comment on item no. 1? please come forward, if you have public comment? >> good afternoon. thank you. [speaker not understood] the land use -- of the city plan progress step-by-step -- such a match of this trend because i must say of all people -- it's making it better. [speaker not understood] >> is there any additional public comment on item no. 1? seeing none, public comment is closed. [ gavel ] >> colleagues, could i have a motion to forward item no. 1 to the full board of supervisors with positive recommendation? >> second. >> without objection, that will be the order. madame clerk, could you please
call item no. 2. >> a hearing on the transbay transit center and downtown extension platform compatibility. >> thank you, supervisor kim is the author and i would like to add my name as co-sponsors to the request. >> thank you, chair wiener and i'm glad it's becoming before the land use commission because it impacts transit for the region and certainly for san francisco, but also because on land use committee we have members of the caltrain board and the mtc as well. i think it's quite appropriate that this is going to be heard before this committee. so as many of our transportation players know, as we move forward with high-speed rail and electrification of caltrain, there has been a lot of discussion on how we can ensure shared compatibility of vehicle and also platform heights.
in the near-term procurement to help us supplement and drive capacity and operational reliability and flexibility of a blended high-speed rail. caltrain service at transbay and for the entire caltrain high-speed rail blended service corridor into the foreseeable future. caltrain and the hawai'i .r.s. high-speed rail and regional partners in cooperating and developing both technical and operational solutions. this again is just a hearing. it's an informational hearing with our multiple agencies. certainly i know the city and county of san francisco has a strong interest in policies and imperatives moving forward and this is an opportunity to hear from all agencies on how discussions have been going thus far. we know that a lot of headway has been made over the last couple of months. i want to appreciate all of our agencies for working so closely
together and through the presentations we'll understand both the technical complexities of making this a blended system with compatible vehicle and platform heights. but also figure out what the pathway is to get to space where we're really building a system that is going last us for decades and decades into the future. and so i just wanted to recognize the effort that has already been made on a regional level by both agencies and we look forward to the update that will be happening today. i did want to give an opportunity for my colleagues on land use committee to make opening remarks as well >> thank you, supervisor kim for calling this hearing today. i think it's a very important hearing. and this particular issue about the compatibility of the vehicles is important in and of itself, but i think it's also part of a broader picture of the critical importance of all of the changes that we're going to be seeing with caltrain with
the electrickfication of the system and the blending of high-speed rail. caltrain is ultimately incredibly important regional railline. it's only going to become more and more important. we have seen the ridership increase by something like 50% in the past number of years and that ridership is going to continue to go up. it is important that all three counties and the region as a whole work together with all of the agencies to make sure that caltrain is meeting the needs of the system. we know we have a lot of work to do to get the system electrified and the vehicles replaced and to make sure that the improvements and the increases in capacity for caltrain, as well as high-speed rail are driving housing production as well. so that we're working together all three counties, to make sure that all three counties are
really helping to meet the housing needs of the bay area. we have a dire situation with housing and what better way to really plan for housing than what we are doing a massive upgrade to an important rail line in terms of having more transit-oriented development. we know we have a lot of work to do to make sure that we have the 4th and king railyards developed and address that situation. it's just a lot of work for us to be doing together. when i heard about the possibility of having incompatible vehicles between high-speed rail and caltrain, i was surprised, and i met with caltrain. i know that there are certainly real challenges to that compatibility, but it does seem there is a path forward. so i'm really glad that we're going to be talking about these issues today. again, thank you supervisor kim for calling the hearing. supervisor cohen.
>> for those who don't know i'm a member of the joint powers board that connects san mateo county, as well as our neighbors south and one of the issues that we have been dealing with on this body has to do with the low floor/high floorboards of the potential cars and why compatibility is important. one thing that this body, this land use body has in common that you have three people that sit on the body that are concerned about regional transportation. supervisor kim and supervisor wiener. i wanted to give one acknowledgment to the mayor's office, trying to find some
parity, some common ground on the best way to solve this problem. also wanted to encourage folks who are watching at home and just to be mindful it's my commitment to you that everything that we are doing has transparency and sometimes that is more difficult than not to actually be able to honor and to perform. so this hearing, supervisor kim, is definitely the right step -- step in the right direction and look forward to hearing this item. >> thank you. >> supervisor kim. >> thank you. and so we do have several presenters here today. and i will be listing the order in which they will be presenting. first ryan dykes from transbay joint powers authority and lisa fisher an urban planner with aecom to talk about lessons learned with high-speed rail and casey francen will present from caltrain and we have dave couch
from caltrain as well and then ben from california high-speed rail will be the final presenter. and i just wanted to mention again because i sit under two hats, under my hat as chair of transbay joint powers authority. we certainly have a lot of concerns about compatibility, given that we have a number of rail edges under the terminal station. while there might be flexibility at both the airport, millbrae, and san josé for building additional tracks because there may be more land or an opportunity to build underground, we're certainly limited in san francisco in the number of lines to bring in under the terminal. so there are concerns in the train breaks down or in terms of redundancy, to ensure that our trains are able to come into the terminal and the issue of using rail edges and that has come up from the san francisco side. that being said, it's a
regional transportation system. and i think this will be a good opportunity to have that discussion and explore both the costs and the benefits of the different options that are before us. so mr. dykes. thank you for leading us off today. >> thank you. supervisor wiener and cohen. it's my pleasure to be here. thank you. i'm the principle engineer at tjpa and i have been involved in this design and project for seven years as a member of tjpa. and for some years before as a consultant. just a quick recap.
elements of the project, the downtown extension starts at grade down near colman street and the tracks, two tracks are peeled off parallel to 7th street and reach of the beginning of the tunnel portal beyond 6th street, having go underneath the 6th off-ramp from the freeway. this is now fairly shallow cut-and-cover work to build an underground station at 4th and townsend and then still cut-and-cover until we get to 3rd street, where we are turning left into 2nd street and arrive at rock or soft rock rather than water and mud, which we have had up to this stage. so it's a mined tunnel. actually the best rock on this sandstone.
it stops being a mine tunnel when we run out of rock at the other end, beyond folsom street, halfway to howard street. also at that stage, the 3-track tunnel starts to widen out to 6 track s to get into the station. so it more than doubles in width and no tunnel machine would touch that. the transbay terminal is presently under construction and the train box in the orange section is, in fact, almost finished and we're now coming up out of the ground. there is a green section at the end, which i will talk about later, but that is the extension to, in fact, accommodate double-length high-speed rail trains. that is two sets of 220-meter trains to make a 400-plus meter train. now the downtown 4th and townsend station, we have done
recent maneuvering to improve the land and to build it with a single platform in the middle and bypass track on the south side. this station is only for caltrain trains to stop and start, not for high-speed rail. so it has the ability for high-speed rail to bypass, should there be a station -- caltrain. the station is now under townsend street as opposed to previously it went into the yard sooner. this allows for more development within -- if it happens -- within the yard. the current design has three platforms. so there are six tracks. this was designed in accordance with the design criteria. >> quick question. just want to make sure that i
have your handout that you are presenting. did you make copies? >> i can give you my copy. you haven't gotten copies of anyone. >> i don't have what you are presenting on the screen. >> i have it electronically, and so i'm not sure if my committee members do. >> if you could forward it to us. >> why don't we do this. >> i can pass this over. >> here is one. >> you have everything? >> thank you. >> this is the layout in the current design. and the extension on the right is, in fact, the 2.5 platforms, so most platforms is not low enough for a full-length high-speed rail train.
there was nothing in the business plan to have every high-speed rail train full length. it protects the 3-story building which is, in fact, my office. didn't want to demolish another building for another platform. >> now that i have the slide in front of me, you are discussing the caltrain platform on the right, correct? >> yes. the next slide will help to show it. this is the current dedicated platform design, which is what the two railways are working on for a long time, until we are now all talking together. >> okay. >> it's in my opinion not very efficient, because you have two platforms for high-speed rail
trains only, which was to the criteria of 50" above top of rail. and describe criteria came out of high-speed rail. we need the trains in my opinion because in effect you can only put caltrain into the top platform. initially we have different operating sequences over periods of ten-year periods. so let me say what i would prefer to see, which is ptc with shared platforms. that is to say that all the platforms have the same height and we already built the bottom of this building and put all the elevators and escalators for anything, between 25-50. so we can accommodate anything, as along as we don't go back to an 8"
platform, in which case we can't get the elevators down. so my plea is the benefit of this is that we have probably a 10-year phrase before we put extra trains parsing tracks down the peninsula, with only two high-speed rail trains. two high-speed rail trains don't need more than one platform per hour. so you can get a lot more caltrain trains here. so the flexibility of how you do it over time, because then they go to 4 trains. you still don't need four platforms for four trains. so we should be able to share this thing. it has an advantage for start-up, because any train can get into any platform, so we can store trains here overnight to get started in the morning. it becomes more efficient. it gets us higher caltrain capacity, which for the initial phrase is what we're looking. it's flexible to bring the different phrases of high-speed rail in. and